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Permit for Fish Waste

Fish waste and other organic matter resulting from industrial fish processing operations, referred to hereafter as fish waste, consists of flesh, skin, bones, entrails, shells or liquid stick water derived from wild stock or aquaculture raised fish. The organic components of the waste have a high biological oxygen demand and, if not managed properly, can pose environmental, health, and nuisance problems. Disposal of such waste may interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea.

Fish waste originates almost entirely from land-based processing operations. Secondary sources are aquaculture operations and factory vessels anchored in coastal waters. This category of waste does not include materials disposed of at sea during primary fishing activities nor does it include routine activities involved in the production of fish as part of aquaculture operations. Should these activities involve disposal of a substance at sea, the disposal generally falls under one or more of exemptions found in the Disposal at Sea legislation. Consultation with Environment Canada (EC) is recommended should there be any doubt concerning the applicability of the legislation. In addition, proponents of such activities should be aware that, even if the Disposal at Sea legislation does not apply, other federal or provincial regulatory requirements may be relevant.

In Canada the disposal of fish waste at sea is limited to those geographical areas where practicable land-based alternatives to disposal are either non-existent or cost prohibitive. Currently, the practice is restricted to various locations in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Magdalen Islands and Quebec’s North Shore. Permits issued in recent years have been only for the disposal of fish waste generated from the processing of wild stock.

Permit Process for Fish Waste

Milestone 1: Applicant’s decision to apply for a DAS permit

Step 1: Description and characterization of waste or other matter, loading and disposal sites.
Step 2: Assessment of waste management options.
Step 3: Applicant collects information required to select disposal site.
Step 4: Impact hypothesis is prepared by EC.

Milestone 2: Application is submitted to EC

Step 5: Applicant completes application form and other documentation using information collected in previous steps.
Step 6: Notice of Intent is published.
Step 7: Applicant consults with other legitimate users and managers of the sea.
Step 8: Application and application fee are submitted.

Milestone 3: Application is reviewed, and permit decision is made

Step 9: EC distributes the application to the appropriate agencies for review.
Step 10: EC decides whether to issue a permit.

Milestone 4: Permit is published

Step 11: EC publishes permit in the Canada Gazette.
Step 12: Permit is valid after the minimum 30 day notification period or on the permit start date.

Milestone 5: Permit is valid and operations can begin

Step 13: permittee uses permit in accordance with terms and conditions.

Milestone 6: Inspection and operations are complete

Step 14: Inspection is completed.
Step 15: End of the permit or completion of the operations

Milestone 7: Post permit-monitoring

Step 16: Compliance monitoring and disposal site effects monitoring may be conducted at loading and disposal sites.

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